The Windy City…

In our ever growing technology based society it is no secret that electricity is a highly prized and necessary commodity. Every night when we charge our smartphones or stream Netflix we aren’t trying to calculate how many kilowatt hours that are being consumed because to be honest, who cares? I need to watch the next episode of Stranger Things. But the truth is when we’re using electricity we are also burning coal, and a lot of it.

The generated pollution is sent straight into the atmosphere thus damaging the delicate coat around our home that is shielding us from the harmful rays of the sun. In addition, coal combustion releases a number of harmful gases that are linked to the production of acid rain as well as lung damage and heart disease in humans. Chicago, being one of the most populated areas in the United States naturally also consumes some of the most electricity. Wind turbines provide a sustainable solution to an ever growing need.

Wind turbines are reported to have the capacity to power New York entirely. Paul Sclavounos, MIT’s professor of mechanical engineering, reports that it would take around 4000 five-megawatt turbines to meet the city’s annual needs. With this being said, turbines could certainly take on the job of Chicago, a smaller city.

The benefits are not only environmental. The production of turbines is primarily on U.S. soil. With a higher demand for turbines, this would mean a higher demand for jobs. Creating opportunities for those who may lose their jobs in the coal industry. Farmers may also receive compensation for allowing turbines to be put on their farmland, approximately 2,000- 3,000 per turbine. The extra revenue would be very beneficial to those who lived on the land.

Turbines provide the framework for a sustainable future both environmentally and economically. They are a clean alternative that will be detrimental to the health of today’s population, and generations to come.

http://www.energy.gov/articles/top-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-wind-power

http://www.ecmag.com/section/green-building/first-100-percent-wind-powered-city-united-states

http://engineering.mit.edu/ask/how-many-wind-turbines-would-it-take-power-all-new-york-city

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2 thoughts on “The Windy City…

  1. People don’t realize how harmful leaving the lights on can be for the environment, probably because we don’t see the immediate effects, like emissions coming from a car. I wish big cities would show more effort in using reusable energy because they are the ones that could make the biggest impact. Reusable resources are much more beneficial for the environment and economy in the long-run.

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  2. Unfortunately wind energy is a very unutilized source of energy, especially in the united states when we have lots of that is prime space for turbines. The United States seems to focus a lot on nonrenewable energy sources and we should really be doing the opposite. Portugal ran on only renewable energy sources for 4 days straight and although they are a small country they have the right idea. We have the potential, we just have to get others to see it the way we do.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/may/18/portugal-runs-for-four-days-straight-on-renewable-energy-alone

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/bluesky/originals/ct-invenergy-wind-power-deal-google-bsi-20160128-story.html

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